When to forgive yourself

I just got out of the shower. I let the warmth hug me and comfort me as the water washed away the dirt left from my day. It feels so good to cleanse. It’s like forgiveness.

I’ve never been very personal on here and I decided recently that I should be. Most of the time, it is the thing left unsaid that could have made all the difference. If I want to connect with you, I have to open up.

I sat down on the floor of my shower and I let two instances run through my mind. Without invading the privacy of others, I will share as much as I can.

First, I thought about someone I loved. Our relationship was never in the light. For the longest time I thought that following your heart was the most important thing. I realize now that it’s not. Your heart is impulsive, malleable, and present. Your mind is calculated, fixed, and predicting. When your heart and your mind do not align, there is a problem. I pursued this relationship, even though I knew it wasn’t right, and I kept pursuing it in hopes that the ends would justify the means. The ends never justify the means. Your karmic wheel cannot distinguish the difference. The right ends will never require the wrong means.

Next, I thought about a relationship with a family member. I am only responsible for my own actions and I have never treated this person with the respect and kindness they deserve. I always feel guilty and hypocritical that I have not aligned my spiritual aspirations and lessons with my behavior in this circumstance. I have let my pride keep me from reconciliation and have once again hoped for a scenario that would justify my means.

I want to correct the second scenario and forgive myself for both. So I started thinking: what guides me to forgive others? If I look someone in the eyes and Know that they will not repeat their actions, I forgive them. I think the same thing applies to internal forgiveness. You cannot really forgive yourself until you Know that you have come to understand your wrongs to an extent that you will never repeat them. Journaling helps here. Meditation helps here. All reflection that brings you closer to your nature.

That’s all. Cheers to my first authentic blog post 🙂

Understanding love languages will change your life and every relationship in it

A very valuable thing to understand is that everybody loves differently. From the moment we are born, we receive love from the people around us which teaches us how we will love others and how we want others to love us. But what we are often not taught is that not everybody will want love and express love in the same manor that we do.

In psychology, there is an attributional bias called the false-consensus effect. The false-consensus effect causes us to overestimate the extent to which our beliefs are shared by others. It explains why we often assume people are intentionally trying to hurt us. We assume they share our values and our beliefs so when there is an action that contradicts them, we assume it must be an intentional one. The same thing applies to love. We figure that people were taught to show and expect love in similar ways, so we blame them when they do not meet our expectations.

The book The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman illustrates that there is more than one way to love. Love languages are deeply rooted within us, typically from our familial relationships. Our parents teach us most of what we know about love and no two family experiences are the same. Were your parents married? Divorced? Same-sex? Were you adopted? Did your grandparents raise you? How did your parents treat each other? How did they treat you? Was your father keen on showing emotion? Was your mother the one in control? There are an infinite amount of factors that went into your love training, which is why it is so critical to understand the differences between you and the close people in your life.

What are the love languages? According to Chapman, each of us has a primary and secondary language. One language that we may have is words of affirmation. This is my primary language. It includes words of praise or words that reaffirm love. People who share my preference enjoy hearing the reasons behind why someone loves them, that they are appreciated, and verbal acknowledgements/compliments. People in this category also experience greater harm from negative comments or the absence of praise. Another love language is quality time. People with this love language expect a great amount of undivided attention in their relationships. They experience satisfaction depending on the amount of time their loved ones dedicate to the relationship. Distractions and cancellations are most harmful to anyone in this category. A third love language is gifts. Upon first glance, this language seems very material. However, it is most often not the monetary value of the gift that is important, rather the time and thought that goes into it. People with this language like to know that they are being thought of and that their loved ones know them well enough to choose appropriate gifts. They are unsettled by impersonal gifts or the absence of them. The next love language is acts of service. Men and women with the “acts of service” love language are fulfilled when their loved ones are eager to lend a helping hand and share in their responsibilities. They are most upset by broken promises and relationships that generate more work for them. The final love language that Chapman discusses is physical touch. This is my secondary love language. For those who share my language, we emphasize physical bonds. Hugs, kisses, holding hands, pats on the back, etc… are very important to us. This language is interesting because it almost always develops either from having parents who often expressed physical love or from having parents who never expressed physical love and a lifelong desire for them to do so.

Understanding how your love languages align with the loved ones in your life will clear up a lot of misunderstandings. In our relationships, we often confuse their inaction as a sign that they do not love us. Knowing how they prefer to show and receive love can redirect our attention to help us reaffirm our relationships and teach us how to make them more fulfilling.

To find out which love languages you prefer, check out this quiz 🙂

http://www.5lovelanguages.com/profile/

No means yes (understanding the importance of our paths)

One of the most powerful lessons I have ever learned is to be able to recognize my shortcomings as victories. For as long as I can remember, my dad has always told me, “When man plans, God laughs”. I always understood that quote to explain things like unexpected rain on a wedding day, hitting every red light on the way to work, or any other situation that Alanis Morissette mentions in “Ironic”. But it means so much more than that. 

As hard as we try, we will never be able to clearly see the bigger picture. We do not know our futures or our destinities. We only know our desires. But the important thing to understand is that God/the universe wants to bring us towards those desires. When something does not work out the way we want it to, God is saying no to the path NOT the destination. He wants us to find the most appropriate path, at the right time, and everything else along the way is to teach us the lessons we need to learn. 

I believe in the harmonious relationship of fate and free will. I think we all have a destiny and our time here should be dedicated to uncovering our destinities by using our free will to make the choices that bring us closer to our higher selves. We slow down or speed up this process according to how closely we pay attention to the signs along the way. These signs are the serendipitous moments, coincidences, intuitions, and energies we all feel. This is how God/the universe communicates. Pain and happiness are signals as well. We feel physical pain when something is wrong with our bodies. It is a sign that something is not right and should be corrected. The same is true of emotional pain. It is a sign that we are out of alignment with our higher selves and should make a correction. Happiness works the same way. When we feel genuinely good, we are on the right path. 

The relationships that didn’t work out, the jobs we didn’t get, and all of our failures were not God saying no. He wants what we want. He is saying yes BUT that there is a better way. Listen closely :).

7 small changes for big happiness

When I was little, I took art lessons from a remarkable woman who required us to memorize and recite a series of quotes at the end of each class. One of the quotes that always stood out to me was: “You are the sum total of all the choices you make.” 

Upon first read, I bet your mind goes to the big choices- where you chose to go to school, who you chose to date, which career path you chose to take… But I’ve recently learned that the small choices are actually the ones with much greater importance. Our health and happiness rely almost entirely on the minute-to-minute decisions we make each and every day of our lives.

For most of my life, I have not been very kind to myself. I think we can all easily get stuck in a routine of letting life happen to us. When we are distracted, we have the tendency to stop making intentional decisions and start making convenient ones. We let negative energy slip into our psyche because we are not controlling for it. We make quick decisions that slow down our long term goals.

I tell my friends that they should love themselves with as much love and intention as they would give to their children. It is truly unbelievable how cruel we can be to ourselves. What we let into our mind, body, and soul gets so overlooked that we do not realize the consequences today’s decisions have on our tomorrow.

In an effort to be more kind to myself, I have been monitoring every single thing that I let into my mind, body, and soul. I immediately found so many harmful things that I had been allowing to slip through the cracks.

These are the top 10 recommendations I have about the typically unintentional things we should be doing with intention. 

1. Start your morning off right. This is the single most important change I have ever made in my entire life. The way you wake up affects everything you do throughout the day. It sets your pace and it is a very opportune time to be in touch with yourself. As soon as I wake up, I think about every blessing in my life that I have to be grateful for. Appreciating what I have, instead of dwelling on what I want, has made me much happier and way more fulfilled. When I start my morning this way, I open my mind and heart to go on with my day seeing all of the blessings and opportunities I have and taking advantage of them in a truly beautiful way. After doing my gratitude, I watch an affirmations video. There are plenty available on YouTube, depending on what you are looking to attract. The videos took me awhile to get used to. At first, it seemed weird to listen to a tape and repeat cliches. But in order for this to work, I realized it needed to be much more of an active activity. When I am repeating the lines, I really see and feel them at the very route of my core. I feel my beauty, ability, and strength radiating from within and attracting everything that I want. I cannot even tell you how instantaneously and powerfully this has worked for me. I plan to do another post, explaining in detail, all of the crazy things that I have attracted into my life since realizing my power of attraction. BUT TRUST ME. IT WORKS. After my video, I smile. I lay in bed and I smile a huge, genuine smile. Some days this is harder than others. Which brings me to my last piece of advice about mornings: no matter how terrible you are feeling, go through the steps and you will always feel better when you get out of bed and start walking around.

2. Think before you react. Disclaimer- I still have not mastered this one but I understand its importance and I am a little better each day. One of my favorite books explained that the word “responsibility” literally means “ability to respond”. In every situation, there is time between when something happens to us and how we respond to it. During that time, it is very easy to act unintentionally and react in a way that contradicts our bigger goals for ourselves. It is so important to monitor our reactions and make sure they are just as much in alignment with our goals as the actions we initiate.

3. Take the time to tailor your space to your needs. I am a big believer we are products of our environment. Where we spend our time has a big effect on our happiness. It is important to have a space that works for you and makes you happy. If you work at home, make yourself an office area that promotes productivity. If you’re a yogi, clear a corner for your mat and decorate! If you love to cook, spend some time making your kitchen nice for yourself. I just recently started to really be OCD with maintaining a clean, cute, and safe space that fulfills my at-home needs.

4. If you hate your workout regimen, find something you enjoy. For a lot of us, staying in shape takes up a big chunk of our lives. I am a big fan of not doing anything that I do not want to do :). So how does this fit with working out? Answer- GET CREATIVE. There is so much you can do to move around that you might enjoy so much more than your current routine. We live in a time of trampoline yoga, regular yoga, animal themed yoga (literally a thing in Vegas), pilates, underwater aerobics, rock climbing, bike riding, walking, hiking, dancing, boxing, pokemon, and so much more!!! Find your thing! F the treadmill! There are too many options to dread a big part of your day.

5. You are what you eat. I know. And I know you know. And I know you want to skip this whole paragraph. But what you probably do not know, because I did not, is how good your body is supposed to feel. I am a MAJOR foodie and for a long time I felt like having my dream body meant sacrificing a hobby that I loved. I recently learned how uneducated about food I actually was. Eating does not have to be healthy vs. good. Once you start doing some research about what your body likes, it becomes so easy to visualize meals that are purposeful and VERY enjoyable. Start small- just choose the healthiest option in any given scenario. You will be addicted to the way your body feels and it will encourage you to have a better understanding of your physical needs. This does not mean you cannot have a pizza or a Pazookie ever again. Personally, they fill my spiritual needs :). The difference is having an awareness that if you have the intention of fulfilling your physical needs, those are not the best options. There is a time and a place for everything- moderate!!

6. Monitor the music you are listening to. This was the first thing I realized when I started paying attention. On day one of living with more intention, I woke up as early as I could so that I could watch the sunrise. I drove across town, climbed a mountain I had never climbed before, and watched the pink sky wake up the town. As I sat there, I did my full morning routine and I noticed how peaceful and happy I felt. I could feel the powerful energy radiating from me. I was ready to take on the day. I climbed down, caught some Pokemon in the park at the foot of the mountain, and got in my car. I turned the radio on, started driving, and my mind went on autopilot as it often does when I drive. About 10 minutes into my drive, I realized the music that was on. It was REALLY aggressive rap. The lyrics were disrespectful, violent, and negative. And I was letting them enter my subconscious mind. The beautiful energy that I felt from my morning hike was already gone. This is when I realized that if I want my morning energy to last all day, I cannot allow messages in that contradict with what I want for myself. I have gone back and forth with the role music like this should play in my life. I enjoy it the same way I enjoy pizza. But like I said in number 2, there is a time and a place for everything.

7. Smell yummy things. I know this sounds a little odd. But smell is just as an important and stimulating of a sense as everything else and it is very much neglected! I took a yoga class last week that incorporated aromatherapy and it got me thinking about the power of scent. My best friend started burning incense in my room and it totally changes my mood. I have candles everywhere now. I smell flowers when I walk by them. I have eucalyptus spray for after my workout. I bought amazing new lotions and have been way more aware of the perfumes I use. This is a little thing that can enhance your mood so much more than you know!

Does your body not amaze you??

Walking out of my 6am TRX class this morning, I overheard the most adorable girl say, “I mean my body is OK. It’s not amazing”.

A statement I’ve said about my own body 100 times. But as I sat in there drenching in sweat I wondered how I could have been so ungrateful to have thought that way. I wanted to approach the girl but I didn’t know how. So now I’m sitting in the parking lot of my yoga studio writing this post.

If I would have approached her, I would have said…

Your body is not amazing? Does it not support you unconditionally? Are you not abledbodied? Does it not warn you when there are problems and soothe you when there is pleasure? Will it take you places? Can it give you rest? Are you able to see, to listen, to taste, to smell, and to touch? What will you have for lunch today? Will your body allow you to enjoy it? Are you able to keep warm in the winter? Will you be able to hug your family on Thanksgiving? How about play with your nieces and nephews? Is your body cooperative? Does it fight off disease? Can it grow stronger if you allow it to? Does it stop you from doing anything that your mind wants to do? Or does it work together with your mind and soul?

Your body, my body, our bodies are the most amazing thing we have! If you are healthy today be grateful!! Love your body. If you can perform your daily tasks with ease, THAT is an amazing body. 

Falling For Fall- Top 4 “Did You Knows”

1. The stars will help us to meet people, connect with greater depth, and show our appreciation

  • Sun is in Scorpio (October 23-November 22): Scorpio is the sign of depth, intimacy, and extremes of feeling. This means we gotta cut the small talk and get real. This is a great time to get to know people.
  • Mercury is in Libra (August 27-November 2): When Mercury is in Libra, we are diplomatic and friendly- confirming this is the perfect season to get out more and make new friends!
  • Venus is in Virgo (October 8-November 8): When Venus is in Virgo, we tend to express our love through practical means and gestures like running errands, doing detail work, or just being there for our loved ones<3

2. Foooooood

  • OK OK, we get it! Pumpkin spice lattes are DA BOMB! But even better is the underrated “Pure Pumpkin” from Coffee Bean. This party in your mouth has the consistency of a milkshake and the taste of a pie. If you haven’t tried it already, you simply have to.
  • Fruit in season- We often forget about fruits being in or out of season but it actually does make a difference for your wallet and for your taste buds! Fall is primetime for some great favorites: apples, beets, cranberries, pears and pomegranates. 
  • October 28- National Chocolate Day
  • October 30- National Candy Corn Day AND National Breadstick Day
  • November 5- National Doughnut Day
  • November 14- National Spicy Guacamole Day

3. Television is at its finest

If you’re like me and have no life, fall is your favorite season for one reason- your shows are back. Here are the shows on my watchlist 🙂

  • American Horror Story: Hotel
  • Scandal
  • The Blacklist
  • The Good Wife
  • Gotham
  • Awkward
  • Vampire Diaries
  • How to Get Away With Murder
  • Limitless
  • Homeland

4. Wardrobe opportunities 

Earth toned clothing is the staple of fall. But what does this mean for your image? Here’s some psychology

  • Appear trustworthy (wear clear earthy colors combined with navy or medium blue). Clear earth tones (such as tan, camel, yellowed beige) appear warm, open and down-to-earth giving the impression of dependability and credibility.
  • Appear calm and reassuring (wear pastels, green) Pastel colors are unassuming, quiet and diplomatic, calmly deflecting criticism. Green is a balanced color which gives the impression of peacefulness and orderliness. Muted warm colors such as earth tones are centered and down-to-earth.
  • Appear friendly and approachable (wear clear earth tones, light yellow and clear colors in warmer hues) Clear earth tones (in particular mid-brown, beige, camel and tan) are warm, friendly and approachable. Light yellow is highly visible and therefore sociable, but not as demanding as bright yellow. Clear warm colors (such as coral, sunflower yellow, peach) are non-threatening and open, particularly if they are light

Recipe for Success (2 ingredients)

Lately I’ve been getting asked “how I do it”, as if I’m doing some extraordinarily wonderful thing in my professional life. At the risk of losing my luster, I’ve decided to let you all in on my secret.

HOW TO BE A BOSS 101

  1. BE PREPARED. As Louis Pasteur (the dead dude who invented pasteurizing milk) would say, “fortune favors the prepared”. I cannot stress this enough. The more qualified you are, the more things will come your way. School IS important. It’s an unfair reality but people will not look at you the same if you never went to college or dropped out of college. Steve Jobs is the exception, not the rule. Watch the news! If you watch the news, you will seem smarter than 90% of your peers and it only takes about 30 minutes a week to stay informed. Also, SNL will be a lot funnier. Pop culture counts too. The more books you read, movies you watch, and shows you get addicted to, the greater the chance is that you will have at least one thing to bond with a stranger about. These are all great ice breakers and conversation starters. Get with it.
  2. FIND OPPORTUNITY. Once you smarten up, opportunity will come knocking on its own. You will be the first person your peers think of when they get an idea or hear of a cool opportunity. This is especially true if you qualify yourself as an “expert” in something (this is also easy to fake). The best way to find opportunity, if it isn’t knocking, is by meeting as many people as you can and knowing them as well as you can. The next time you are introduced to somebody new, remember their name and learn something about them. When you’re successful, you need all types of people doing all types of things for you. It’s like a puzzle and you never know when you’re actually meeting the piece you’ve been looking for. It’s also important to make a good impression and try not to piss anybody off. it takes 10 good friends to make up for one bad enemy. That girl whose boyfriend you stole in 6th grade could become your boss one day.

That’s all there is to it. Work hard, stay in your lane, and network ❤ ❤ ❤ Thank you guys so much for taking the time to read my first ever blog post!!! I want to s/o my little sis Elana for getting me into this. Follow her site http://www.berningdesire.com we will be doing some content exchanges in the near future!